Implementing cashless payment systems in the public transport sector solves many of the problems faced by the industry, but can also be used by governments as a means to introduce and scale up the use of digital payment systems to address financial inclusion issues.
An example is Ghana’s government, which has been proactive in adopting digital technology designed to promote improved access to financial services - and the digitisation of payments for public transport services. And although Ghana, like most other countries in Africa, remains a cash-based economy, it has its sights clearly set on embracing digital transformation by proactively improving its digital infrastructure to create a cyber-conscious culture focussed in increased financial inclusion for all, both in urban and rural settings.
In most African countries where financial literacy and awareness is limited, work remains to be done around increasing awareness and acceptance of a cashless payment system. Especially where informal trade is a part of everyday life. But growing trust in the ecosystem is a necessary and vital part of the implementation of digital payment systems, as they have the power to ensure expansion of infrastructure. Educating businesses and the general public to understand the benefits of digital payments, therefore, needs to be a part of the bigger picture, where the entire concept of going cashless is a massive technological leap forward.
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